Dr. Ted Becker

Ted Becker is a lawyer, with his J.D. from Rutgers and a political scientist, with his Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Earlier in his career, he was on the staff of the Attorney General of New Jersey and a consumer research analyst for Benton and Bowles Advertising Agency on Madison Avenue in New York City.

He is currently the Alumni Professor of Political Science at Auburn University, is the former head of that department and former Chairman of the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii.

Becker is the author of 12 other books in the fields of law and politics, American government, teledemocracy and now this one, in political economy. He has been on the faculties of the University of Maryland, Northwestern, Hawaii, NYU (Department of Politics and the School of Law),San Diego State, Cal State at Los Angeles, Wayne State University, CCNY, Brooklyn College and Victoria University of Wellington, NZ.

He has also been a paid lecturer at Harvard, Brown, Pembroke, Oberlin, Reed, Bowdoin, San Francisco State University, the Universities of Washington, Oregon, Missouri, California at Santa Cruz, Kentucky, Texas Tech, New Mexico, The University of West Indies (Trinidad), Seoul National University, Technology University of Sydney, Salzburg University, Turku School of Economics, the University of Stockholm, and many others.

Also currently, he is the Editor in Chief of The Journal of Public Deliberation at www.services.bepress.com which he considers a labor of love, as he does this “endless book” that he expects to be writing until his time comes.

Dr. Michael Briand

Michael Briand is a specialist in political communication. Currently the director of Civic Engagement at California State University – Chico, he received his master's degree in philosophy from Oxford University and his Ph.D. in metaethical and political philosophy from Johns Hopkins University.

After teaching briefly in Europe, he organized the first face-to-face discussion between representatives of all the parties to the conflict in South Africa, a story he recounts in his book, Dialogue in Williamsburg.

A former program officer with the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, Briand designed and directed a community civic development program for the Colorado community college system. His book, Practical Politics: Five Principles for a Community that Works, is a direct product of his experience with helping ordinary citizens reclaim their rightful place as the authors of their own collective lives.

Briand has founded two not-for-profit organizations, most recently the International Institute for democratic Dialogue and Deliberation (www.iiddd.org). He was the founding editor of the International Journal of Public Participation and a member of the journal's advisory panel. His work with the city of Longmont, Colorado in 2005 earned him an award from the International Association for Public Participation. He has also served as vice chair of the board of directions of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation.

In addition to carrying out his duties as civic engagement director at Cal State Chico, Briand is working on a book concerning the connection between ethics and democracy. In order to preserve his sanity in these difficult times, he coaches youth football.